Weaning strategies that work for all mothers
Many nursing mothers desire breastfeeding weaning schedule that work. But some are scared of weaning breastfeeding pain. And then there’s the confusion whether to wean the baby at 12 months, before 12months or longer than that.
There are many weaning tips that women can apply to successfully wean their nursing babies from breast milk to formula. Many women who have done this before say that how to wean their babies off breast milk at night remain the toughest part of the weaning process.
Breastfeeding is a relationship which requires the good will of both mother and child. Sometimes, mothers are ready to end that form of relating, eager to find other ways of meeting their child’s needs for physical and emotional sustenance. The challenge is how to encourage a devoted baby to give up the breast, without traumatizing him or her.
Over the years, sudden weaning is a major loss for little ones, one that can make them feel so overwhelmed with desperate need that they express their displeasure through constant tantrums and cries for attention which they are no longer getting.
By contrast, gradual weaning still involves loss, but the baby is able to do her grieving in small, manageable doses as she learns to meet her physical and emotional needs in other ways. In fact, gradual weaning becomes a series of healthy stepping stones in the child’s development and in the mother-child relationship, in which the child grows.
These 5 tips below show that weaning babies gradually remain the best bet for nursing mothers. This way, they won’t hurt their babies feelings nor feel guilty afterwards.
Make sure your baby is getting enough nutrition from other sources
If your baby is getting most of her calories from you, weaning her will mean she will be hungry which will mean frustration all around. Focus on helping her explore solid food so she learns to enjoy it before you introduce gradual weaning. This works better.
The sight of your breast triggers your child’s longing to nurse. This will last at least a year after she’s weaned, and maybe longer. This isn’t the time to wear low cut tops or sleep naked (presuming that your child ever awakens at night, as many do.) Don’t worry, this won’t last forever.
Wean at night
The first feedings you will want to eliminate are any night feedings, if your child is still waking up at night to nurse. If your baby is still doing this, it’s probably because they don’t know how to go to sleep without sucking breasts. But your baby has to learn to go to sleep without nursing in the middle of the night when he’s a bit rested and can stay awake longer. You should start by helping your child learn to fall asleep without nursing when you put him to bed at night.
Expect and welcome crying
If you gradually start weaning your baby, some feelings such as whining, grumpiness, reactivity, helplessness will crop up. Accept your child’s emotions with compassion. Your baby just needs to cry in the safety of your loving attention and those feelings will dissipate. Weaning is a loss for your baby. He or she’s giving up something beloved. Crying reveal just how sad he or she feels at that moment. You have to love your baby through that phase with understanding and patience.
Reduce the time you spend breastfeeding you baby
If you reduce the amount of time your child nurses at each session, then giving up breast milk will be easier on your child. Weaning has to work for both mother and child. Remember that even if you want to wean your child, you may experience this as a loss too. Go through the emotions and help your child go through it with love.